The Landing Step - Gráda
Ireland should be proud of their next generation of traditional players. While New World Irish punks like The Dropkick Murphys lay the boots to Emerald Isle standards like The Black Velvet Band (and do a mighty fine job of it too), Ireland's sons and daughters are blowing the dust off of their rich musical heritage and adding some new twists to bring the sounds into the 21st century. Making the effort even more challenging are bands like Lunasa and Dervish who have set the bar of musical prowess so extremely high, that releases from many of these newer groups pale in the light of their brilliance. Grada is up to the challenge and are now poised to receive some deserved international acclaim, already labeled 'firebrands' for their heretical use of double bass and percussion in their arrangements (I don't see what the big deal is here, folks ... it's not like they're plugging in or anything). Grada, more impressively have reintroduced instruments like the coronet into Irish traditional music. Not surprisingly, Lunasa's Trevor Hutchinson produced The Landing Step for this five-piece. Somewhere in a small Irish pub, purists will rage at his insolence. The rest of us will just smile while our ears perk up and say, "Thank you".